New Venue Big Band was formed in December of 2001 and had its first rehearsal in January of 2002. The vision of the group is to provide a professional performance level of music for those in the southeast Iowa area wanting to dance to the many forms of swing and ballroom dances. The group strives to be the "dancer's band". Musicians in the group represent all walks of life and many, many years of professional music performance. Most importantly, the band has fun playing the standard big band sounds from the past!


Bob Brady  Alto Sax/Clarinet
Bob is a retired music coordinator and teacher, with forty years of experience in schools in Illinois and Iowa. He holds a BS in Music Education from Northern Illinois University, and a Master of Arts from the University of Northern Colorado. In addition to playing with the New Venue, he is a member of the Silver Swing Band, St. Andrew’s Woodwind Ensemble and Concert Band. Also, he is Secretary of the Board of Directors, Music Librarian, Band Manager and retired Conductor of the Iowa City Community Band.
Mike Compton  Saxophone/Clarinet
Originally from Northern California, Mike eventually wandered away from there and has shared his musical knowledge with students in Kansas, Iowa, North Dakota, and Oklahoma. All that experimentation culminated in his current position as band director at Solon Middle School. Throughout these adventures, Mike was able to pick up several degrees in saxophone and perform with the likes of Louis Bellson, Frank Mantooth, Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Temptations, the Drifters, the Coasters, and many others.
Tye Male  Tenor Saxophone
Tye is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and currently lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended two years at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati as a jazz performance major. He now serves as a pastor for his day job and loves riding his new road bike to stay fit.
Garret Locke  Tenor Saxophone
Garret was born in Longview, Washington. In high school there, he played in the wind ensemble, jazz band and a number of area and state honor bands. Before moving to Iowa, he attended the University of Washington, where he played in the UW band for 3 years, when not studying zoology. Today, in addition to lighting up the saxophone for New Venue, he plays with a small church ensemble. For his day job, he is the technical director at the Iowa Lions Eye Bank.
Dave Kunz  Baritone Saxophone
Dave's originally from Emmetsburg, Iowa and currently lives in Washington with his wife, LeAnn, and several bicycles. He received a bachelors degree in music education from the University of South Dakota. Before joining New Venue, Dave's gigged with the Mike Day Big Band, Mearl Lake Orchestra, Jack Schultz Orchestra, Al Godfredson Orchestra, Northwest Iowa Concert Band and Jazz Band, and still plays in the Washington Municipal Band and Muscatine Big Band. In his "spare" time, Dave is the band director at Mid-Prairie High School in Wellman, IA, where he's taught for the past eight years.
Don Hughes  Trumpet
Don is a former Iowa City resident and now a Washington transplant. He can also be heard with the South East Iowa Symphony, The Cedar Rapids Municipal Band, The Iowa City Community Band, and The Washington and Iowa City Community Theaters. During the day, he is a band director in the Washington school system. Don would like to thank his wife, Lisa, for letting him come out to play.
Brett Petersen  Trumpet
Brett has lived in the Iowa City area since 1993. Besides the New Venue Big Band, Brett plays with the Eastern Iowa Brass Band, the Cedar Rapids Jazz Big Band and the Iowa City Community Band. He has also had his arm twisted on a few occasions to play in the pit orchestra of various Iowa City Community theater productions. He sleeps during the day!
Beth Villhauer  Trumpet
Beth is a native of Iowa City. She has performed for many years with the Eastern Iowa Brass Band and the Iowa City Community Band. She has a BA in Music from Central College in Pella, Iowa. She spends her days working as the administrative assistant and bid coordinator in the Elementary Music Catalog Division of West Music Company in Coralville.
Scott Vogelgesang  Trumpet
A native of the Twin Cities, Scott moved to Iowa City in 1995 from Washington DC after a stint in the US Army. He studied trumpet and played in the jazz band, concert band, subbed in the orchestra, a jazz quintet and played polka gigs on the weekends at the University of Minnesota in Duluth. Scott works at the University of Iowa and loves to play his trumpet, flugelhorn, and piccolo trumpet in whatever musical venues will have him.
Jason Grimm   Trombone
Jason is a native of Cedar Rapids and received his Bachelor of Music degree in trombone performance from Coe College.  In addition to New Venue he is also a member of the CR Jazz Big Band, Iowa Vanguard Jazz Collective, and Cedar Rapids Municipal Band.  Jason also plays bass and performs locally with guitarist Adam Stomp. 
Paul McNally  Trombone
Paul is a native of Grinnell, Iowa. A retired band director, Paul has played trombone or euphonium with a number of bands, including the Iowa City Community Band, the Dubuque Symphony, and the Eastern Iowa Brass Band. Paul is married to Valerie, who is a retired elementary band director in the Iowa City Schools.
Troy Vincent  Trombone
Troy is a native of West Branch. While in high school there, he was active in concert band, jazz band, chorus and swing choir. He also attended Iowa State University and played in the Cyclones marching band and pep band. When he's not singing in his church choir, or playing with New Venue Big Band, he works in Tipton and West Branch, Iowa, as a Commercial Loan Officer for US Bank.
Roger Hileman  Bass Trombone
Since coming to Iowa City with his wife Lu in 1978, Roger has been active in the area's music scene. A one-time band and choral director, Roger has been involved with numerous musical theater productions on stage, in technical roles, and as orchestra director. A published author, Roger also enjoys being a grandpa, and taking mountain hikes. Roger acts as webmaster for the New Venue Big Band.
Ron Renoux  Guitar
In junior high, Ron purchased his first guitar, and he's been playing ever since. He was a member of several bands throughout his high school and college years. During his twenties, Ron studied jazz guitar and music theory at North Texas State and the University of Iowa. Shortly after, he met his future wife, Sherry, and had to postpone his music career to earn some "real" money. Ron will talk guitar with anyone who will listen - stop in to Renoux Flooring in Washington and see, if you don't believe us.
Arlen Ottmar  Bandleader, Piano
Arlen was born in North Dakota, but got to Iowa as soon as he could!! After graduating with a music degree from Wartburg College in 1972, he was an instrumental music director in Atlantic, Iowa from 1972-75, then at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, SD from 1975-77 and most recently at West Branch high school from 1988-95. Arlen has done many things but presently is a piano tuner/technician and enjoys time with his family.
Ron Hillis  String Bass
Ron Hillis has played string bass and electric bass off and on since he was a freshman at Luther College in the mid 60s. His musical education has been scattered courses at Luther, the University of Iowa and a couple of semesters at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has performed as a bass player with pianists Jim Hall, Dick Watson, Steve Hillis (brother) and Roscoe Porch. Ron also plays other instruments and has appeared at numerous festivals including the New Orleans Jazz Fest.
Rick Chambers  Drums
Rick Chambers is a drummer, vocalist, and arranger with a music education degree in clarinet and saxophone from Buena Vista College in Storm Lake. He was inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 with The Beach-niks and in 2005 with The Senders. Rick and his wife Robin own Chambers Electric, Inc. and Rick was the 2007-2008 president of the Iowa Chapter of International Association of Electrical Inspectors. He also teaches continuing education and license exam prep classes for electricians and electrical classes for industrial maintenance workers for six different community colleges throughout the state.
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